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In 2017, SGS South Africa began a partnership with East Bank High School (EBHS), a secondary school in Alexandra, to turn one of their classrooms into a modern physical science laboratory. Construction of the lab, which has brand new textbooks, chemicals and lab equipment, was completed in May 2018.

East Bank High School Science Lab

In February 2018, SGS employees in Randfontein hosted a workshop for science teachers, to prepare them  to take ownership of the lab and use it effectively. The workshop contributed to a total of 93 hours of volunteering done for EBHS in 2018.

Toward the end of the year, we arranged for Afrika Tikkun, an organization that supports children’s development, to run a Saturday School program in which teachers were trained to conduct extracurricular lessons for Matric (Grade 12) students, to prepare the students for their final exams.

The program was a success. EBHS improved its Matric pass rates, which soared from 74.17% in 2017 to 89.7% in 2018. Improvements in mathematics (55.1% to 67.7%), physical science (64.28% to 78.1%), and accounting (25% to 69.1%) have put EBHS on a par with  the top ranking schools of the Alexandra area – a great achievement for the students and teachers.

For us, the partnership was not only about creating a laboratory for a school in need, it was also about empowering the learners, fostering an interest in mathematics and science, and inspiring teachers to perform their roles with pride. The project contributed to Goal 4 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Ensuring quality education.